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Lack of Accountability in Persecution of Tai Ji Men by Rogue Bureaucrats Continues Unjust Affair for 24 Years
Action Alliance to Redress 1219 is a partner of the International Summit on Religious Freedom (IRF) 2021
WASHINGTON, DC, July 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The 2021 International Religious Freedom Summit (IRF), the biggest and most important religious freedom event of the year, took place in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC on July 13-15, with over 1,000 people in attendance. As a partner of the Summit, the Action Alliance to Repair 1219 welcomed its second workshop entitled “A question of justice: the Tai Ji Men caseOn July 15, with more than 4,300 religious freedom activists participating in the event in person or online.
At the start of the workshop, former U.S. Goodwill Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, IRF Summit 2021 Co-Chair, greeted the audience and thanked Bitter winter, an online magazine, for co-sponsoring the Summit. Ambassador Brownback congratulated Professor Massimo Introvigne, Editor-in-Chief of Bitter winter, for being a great investigator, who wrote about what happened to Tai Ji Men in Taiwan. Ambassador Brownback said freedom of religion is a basic human right, without which humanity cannot flourish. He stressed that this right must be guaranteed for everyone, everywhere, all the time. This sentiment is also aligned with the Religious Freedom Charter of this Summit, which emphasizes “freedom of religion and conscience”. While different religious groups may practice their values in different ways, “we believe that the role of governments is to protect this innate right of a person to choose their own future for their soul,” Ambassador Brownback said.
During the Summit, Dr Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and Co-Chair of the IRF Summit 2021, stressed the importance of awareness, saying that if people can always stay listening to their conscience, he will whisper to them the difference between good and evil despite the temptations and the ugliness of the world. The concept of consciousness mentioned by Dr. Swett is very relevant to the Tai Ji Men case.
Pamela Chen, on behalf of tens of thousands of Tai Ji Men dizi (disciples), pointed out that their religious freedom has been violated in Taiwan for 24 years. She lamented that “the Taiwan tax office issued illegal tax bills to Tai Ji Men simply on the basis of a fabricated indictment, without conducting any substantive investigation. It was against conscience. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Taiwan found Tai Ji Men not guilty of tax evasion or other charges, confirming that Tai Ji Men owed no taxes, but the Taiwan Tax Office continued to impose unjustified taxes on Tai Ji Men. It was against conscience. The head of Tai Ji Men owed no taxes, but his land was for a spiritual center and was confiscated. It was a theft of his property and was against conscience. We are Tai Ji Men dizi in the USA. We now turn to the international community, seeking support to urge the Taiwanese government to correct its mistakes and implement genuine democracy and human rights.
“Tai Ji Men is a spiritual organization that practices qigong and martial arts, with 15 academies in the United States and Taiwan. It was dedicated to promoting a culture of love, peace and conscience. To date, he has traveled to 101 countries, urging heads of state and leaders of all countries to do the right thing, ”Chen added.
Kenneth Jacobsen, a law professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA and former adviser to US President Bill Clinton, has studied the Tai Ji Men case for years and wrote an article on this case. He shared that he was offended by the major violations of the law committed by the few rogue bureaucrats throughout the Tai Ji Men case. Like Tai Ji’s men dizi (disciples), Professor Jacobsen loves Taiwan and the people of Taiwan, and that is exactly why these officials should be held accountable so that no one else suffers. Professor Jacobsen ended by calling on President Tsai Ing-wen and other Taiwan leaders to “right the mistakes of the past.” “Allowing mistakes to continue, to perpetuate mistakes that were made in the past is as bad, if not worse, than making those mistakes in the first place.” Professor Jacobsen said: “What I would like to say to the government of Taiwan is, ‘Do the right thing!’ “
Prof. Massimo Introvigne, sociologist, director general of the Center for Studies on New Religions, and co-author of a white paper on the Tai Ji Men case, joined the remote workshop, stressing that Taiwan is a democratic country. “Bad bureaucrats of course exist everywhere, including in my own country, Italy, but the democratic test is whether other powers in a democratic state are capable of controlling rogue bureaucrats.” He said that Tai Ji Men is truly a vibrant and flourishing religious culture and that “I think the friends in Taiwan should be in the front line precisely in calling for a solution of the Tai Ji Men case.” He pointed out that the Tai Ji Men case “is not a tax case, if it were, it would have been settled a long time ago. It is a matter of principle and a test for freedom of religion. or conviction “.
Marco Respinti, director in charge of Bitter winter, also attended the online forum. He said that Bitter winter closely and regularly followed the Tai Ji Men case. The case is a tragedy because it is the story of the pursuit of innocent people in the beginning and then for almost a quarter of a century. Respinti said it is a journalist’s responsibility to focus on cases like the Tai Ji Men case and confront a prosecutor’s false accusations, like raising goblins. Taiwan defends democracy, urges Taiwanese government to clear Tai Ji Men’s names Shifu (master) and dizi (disciples) and restore justice. Respinti calls on all media to report typical cases of human rights violations like the Tai Ji Men case and ultimately rectify the case.
About Action Alliance to Redress 1219: Action Alliance to Redress 1219 is a group of international and Taiwanese legal, religious and human rights scholars who work to restore the truth about the ongoing persecution of Tai Ji Men in Taiwan by a small group of bureaucrats who has been going on for 24 years, as well as their abuse of power and violations of the law. In addition to rectifying the Tai Ji Men case and revealing the truth, he is also committed to defending religious freedom, denouncing related injustices in Taiwan. The Alliance calls on those in power not to ignore people’s basic human rights and demands that those responsible be held accountable to protect democracy, the rule of law and justice.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/64aeaf34-80a7-489a-aef0-1553fe693ebc
The photo is also available on Newscom, www.newscom.com and via AP PhotoExpress.